Number of refugees fleeing Ethiopia to Sudan surpasses 20,000 - U.N.

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Ethiopians are seen at the Setit River on the Sudan-Ethiopia border in Hamdait village in eastern Kassala state
Ethiopians are seen at the Setit River on the Sudan-Ethiopia border in Hamdait village in eastern Kassala state

CAIRO (Reuters) - The number of people who have fled into Sudan from the conflict in northern Ethiopia has risen to at least 20,000, the U.N. refugee agency and local officials said on Sunday.

More than 12,500 crossed at Hamdayat and nearly 7,500 to the south at al-Luqdi from Nov. 7 to 14, UNHCR figures suggested.

The head of Sudan's refugee commission put the total number of refugees at 24,944 by the end of Saturday, state news agency SUNA reported.

Local and U.N. agencies are trying to assist the refugees, who have been arriving in growing numbers with few possessions or provisions.

(Reporting by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Frances Kerry)